Understanding Cross-Channel Marketing That Engages Consumers

Think about how you use the internet. Personal experience is one of the best ways to understand why a one-and-done marketing campaign is no longer helpful. You’re at work and browsing the internet during a break. You read an article with special one-day-only pricing on your desktop, but you do not place orders from your work computer. You take a mental note to place an order when you’re at home.

You get home and shift from the computer you were using to a phone or tablet. You need the deal you spotted on your work computer, but you do not see the same sale on the mobile app. Support is only available by phone, and that department closed at 5 p.m. There’s no way to reach anyone until morning. By that point, the sale is over, so you’re upset and have formed a negative opinion of that company. That brand lost a sale because they focused their attention on one platform.

The company could have kept the sale by having live chat support. Making sure pricing remained the same on the internet and the mobile app would have also secured the purchase. The company’s lack of cross-channel marketing ended up losing money.

How Do Consumers Like to Interact?

In Hubspot’s Not Another State of Marketing 2021 Report, it found that most brands focus marketing strategies in these five areas.

  • Social Media (Around 80%)
  • Websites (Around 80%)
  • Email Marketing (Around 65%)
  • Content Marketing/SEO (Around 45%)
  • Paid Social (Around 40%)

For social media marketing, Instagram (about 80%), Facebook (just under 80%), Twitter (just over 60%), YouTube (around 55%), and LinkedIn (just over 40%) are the most popular choices. But, when it comes to a return on investment (ROI), Facebook leads the pack at 40 to 45%. Instagram is second at 30 to 35%. LinkedIn is around 10%, while YouTube and Twitter are just over 5%.

Those are the platforms that marketing experts use to connect to consumers. But, what do consumers prefer? Have you ever stopped to look at their preferred methods? Here are the top five used by consumers.

  • YouTube (81%)
  • Facebook (69%)
  • Instagram (40%)
  • Pinterest (31%)
  • LinkedIn (28%)

Age groups and gender also play an essential role. Adults over the age of 50 are more likely to use Facebook and YouTube. Adults between 30 to 49 are more likely to use Facebook and YouTube, but Instagram is also heavily used in that age group. For adults 29 or younger, YouTube and Instagram are most popular, with Facebook following in third place.

Women are more likely to use these five: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Men’s top five are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp.

That covers social media, but what else do consumers prefer when it comes to reaching brands? These are the top five ways consumers say they prefer to learn more about a company.

  • Social Media
  • Ads on TV and Radio
  • Email
  • Direct Mail
  • Social Ads

Make Cross-Channel Marketing Work For Your Brand

Before making any changes to your marketing strategy, you need to look at what’s worked and what hasn’t. How do your consumers like to interact with your company? If you do newspaper advertising and rarely draw traffic, you’re wasting your money. Meanwhile, you get a lot of interest on Instagram and don’t spend much time there. It’s time to change.

Look at the ways consumers prefer to connect with a brand. Are you incorporating those methods? Your marketing strategy needs to create an experience in ways that consumers want. If you’re sticking to old-fashioned methods like radio ads and phone listings and don’t have a website, you’re missing a broad part of the current market.

It would help if you reached consumers in the ways that matter to them. Social media marketing is great, but it’s not for everyone. You’ll probably need a team for email campaigns for those who do not trust or use social media. Older adults may prefer direct mail, as it’s what they’re used to.

Avoid Common Mistakes

While you’re building your new cross-channel marketing campaign, don’t make some of the more common mistakes.

#1 – Make Sure Your Departments Communicate

Stay focused and make sure your marketing team stays connected. If you have one group working on emails, one on social media marketing, and one on website updates, they need to talk. If they’re not communicating, consumer responses aren’t being shared to adjust what’s working and what isn’t.

Suppose your social media team shares news of a special 50% off coupon for new customers. They don’t tell the other groups. The website team has no idea there is a coupon, so the website and mobile app are never updated. Consumers use the code, and it doesn’t work, causing frustration.

#2 – Test Websites and Social Media Channels On All Electronic Devices

Start by making sure that your website works on all mobile devices and browsers. If the responsive design fails, you’re going to lose people who only use a tablet or smartphone. If a site works on a PC but not on a Mac, you need to find out why and fix it.

Do all of the links you’ve set up work? If not, your development team needs to look at the problems and resolve them ASAP.

Go through the website and social media channels to ensure all links are correct. It shouldn’t go live until everyone works, but mistakes happen. If a consumer points out a broken link, thank them and make the correction.

#3 – Someone Needs to Respond Quickly

When you have consumers reach out via email, live chat, or social media, do you have a team responding in a timely manner? If you’re making consumers wait days or weeks for a response, you’re driving people away. If you don’t respond at all, it looks like you don’t care.

Here’s a mistake that’s commonly made. A website sets up a “Contact Us” page and leaves email as a primary way to contact them with questions or to learn more. The company never follows through, so those emails go to a spam folder or an email they stopped checking after the initial testing phase. If staff no longer check that folder or account, consumers who prefer email contact feel they’re being ignored. They move on to another company.

For example, a restaurant hired a new director of catering. They disabled the old director’s email and set up a new email for the new employee, but the website team forgot to update it, so emails bounced. As soon as consumers got a message back that the email was no longer valid, they moved to the next restaurant on their list. That restaurant lost potential business.

#4 – Know When to Ask an Expert to Help

Keeping track of a cross-channel marketing campaign takes organization, but it’s one of the best ways to provide consumers with a comprehensive, enjoyable experience. Don’t bypass this marketing strategy because you fear it’s too complex.

Factory 360 specializes in cross-channel marketing. We can assist you with digital marketing like mobile marketing and social media content creation. Our team can help you set up a virtual event or create the branding you need to reach new levels. Give us a call and let us know your vision, and we’ll help you turn it into a reality.